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AKE
18-06-2011, 09:58
In general how wide should a unit be? I run most of my DE 6 wide, but that was mainly for two extra attacks back when 4 wide was a rank. Got to thinking that doesn't seem necessary anymore with second rank attacks. Is 5 wide, assuming non-horde, a standard nowadays?

Rikkjourd
18-06-2011, 12:25
If you want to minimize casualties go for 5. If want to be killy and can afford it, go for 10. If the unit is too expensive for hording go for 7 so that you at least can maximize attacks against 5 wide.

Steadfast plays an important role in this decision as well, do you need it or can you do without?

Dark Aly
18-06-2011, 12:29
Rikkjourd makes most of the valid points. With 25mm bases then 6 is better than 7 as you'll struggle to get that extra man in combat against most 5 wide steadfast blocks.

I also prefer the aesthetics of more files than ranks so I always try to have square numbers or less (doesn't always work out mind)

theunwantedbeing
18-06-2011, 12:30
If you intend the unit to be winning fights, go wider and shallower.
If you intent the unit to be losing fights, go thinner and deeper.

That's the general rule for things.

Although 20mm base units can get away with slightly larger ranks due to the smaller base size.
6 wide for 20mm is the same number of return attacks from 25mm wide enemies afterall.

Aluinn
18-06-2011, 12:54
If you want to minimize casualties go for 5. If want to be killy and can afford it, go for 10. If the unit is too expensive for hording go for 7 so that you at least can maximize attacks against 5 wide.

Steadfast plays an important role in this decision as well, do you need it or can you do without?

I agree wholeheartedly.

In both of my armies (VC and Empire) I run basically one of three formations:

-7x3: This is for stuff like Grave Guard, Greatswords, or Flagellants, if I'm not going to spend the points to bring the unit up to 30 (in which case I'd make it a Horde). For really expensive (and really offensive) units like HE Swordmasters, 7x2 can also work, if you can't afford to increase the size of the unit much beyond that.

-Hordes of 30-60 models: This I will do with the elite units if I have at least 30, and with basic, Core units if I have 50, in which case I find that the 5-wide formation is at least not necessary to preserve rank bonus in most cases. There's a case to be made for an extremely long "bus" of something like 5x10, but I don't generally go in for it, because such units have a hard time winning combat and thus it doesn't really matter that they can deny Steadfast. They will themselves usually remain Steadfast for a long while, but I, personally, don't find that investing a lot of points in a pure tarpit is usually worth it. If you're playing an army like Skaven or O&G (with Goblins), where you can easily afford to have such tarpits and still take enough offensive units, it becomes far more viable. Basically, I don't think that all armies can afford to have units which are designed to lose combats, and I'd rather try to ensure that mine win even if the individual models are weak. Keep in mind that this may mean they need a combat character with them, or even multiple characters.

(For example, in my Empire army I use either a Horde of Halberdiers, which is actually fairly normal, or a Horde of Swordsmen, which most people would tell you never to field in such a formation because individually they don't kill much. However, I have my General and BSB in this unit, and give it the Razor Standard, and the extra attacks help ensure that it can win combats--and of course more kills can break Steadfast just the same as fewer deaths. If it was just the General, BSB, and eight dudes fighting, even though I'd be receiving fewer attacks, it'd often be harder to actually win a combat, depending on the enemy unit(s) involved.)

-5-wide units of Core which are between 20 (and these would only be present for the Watchtower, or as wizard bunkers) and 35 models. 30-40-model units of troops like Empire Swordsmen can be good for holding flanks and, though not hardcore tarpits, tend to hold up enemies for more than one turn.

(There is one other special case, for missile units, which of course I always field in two ranks so that all of them can shoot, whatever the size of the unit, but they're usually 10 or 20 models.)

But always remember that you can reform on the fly. It's easy to forget that the formations you deploy in aren't set in stone and that you can go for some radical stuff if it happens to gain you an advantage at the time, for example the infamous conga-line, or a unit of missile troops going one-deep in order to defend against war machines firing templates.

EDIT: For models on 25mm bases, substitute 6-wide formations where you would otherwise field them 7-wide, as this is the maximum number you can get into combat against a 5-wide, 20mm-based enemy unit.

AKE
19-06-2011, 08:38
Thanks. I will play around and try 5 wide and maybe some different widths. Ug, it's going to be a pain breaking all my minis off the sheet metal. I have them grouped in 3s, 2s, and singles.

popisdead
21-06-2011, 22:37
I don't run anything wider than 6 (this includes Bestigors) unless it is shooting Glade Guard bows.

tmarichards
22-06-2011, 01:30
I run my Witches and Corsairs 10 wide usually, sometimes 12 wide. The only times I'll go narrower is to conga line them (Stubborn within 12" of the Cauldron), or if I'm fighting something that can outfight me.

slingersam
22-06-2011, 13:00
25mm bases 6 or 7 wide. 20mm 5wide for less causilties or Horde formation if either my armies had cheap core (lizardmen and High elves)